Violence raises doubt Nigeria girls will be freed

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Originally published in CBN News

New violence in Nigeria is casting doubt on the government’s claim the Boko Haram terrorist group is ready to release more than 200 schoolgirls.

On Friday, Nigeria’s military leader said the radical Islamic group agreed to a ceasefire as a first step toward freeing the girls.

“They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them. I am cautiously optimistic,” Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur told the BBC. 
   
But Boko Haram never confirmed the deal and in the interim, dozens of civilians have been killed in attacks.

“We were jubilating. We had every reason to be happy … but since then the ceasefire has been broken in quite a number of places already,” Lawan Abana, a parent of the one of the missing girls, told Reuters.
   
The government says a Boko Haram splinter group might be responsible.
    
The kidnapping of the schoolgirls last April caused an international uproar.

Nigeria’s government was widely criticized for its handling of the crisis and has never been able to rescue the girls. Their release could help President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign. 

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